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Sysco's Culinary Experts

Chef Profile: Anil Chacko 

Born and bred in Houston, Chef Anil Chacko first received a degree in economics before deciding to follow his true passion to become a chef, eventually earning another degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America in the beautiful Napa Valley. 

The son of parents who left India and came to Houston in the 70s, Chef Anil Chacko didn’t originally set out to become a chef. He loved cooking ever since he was a young child, when he would help his mom in the kitchen, stirring ingredients in a pot that he couldn’t even see over! After graduating high school, he went to the University of Texas and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. While attending college, he had a night-time job serving ice cream at Marble Slab Creamery. The foodservice world had started calling again.  Although armed with a great degree that could lead him down many avenues in the business world, Anil decided he wanted to pursue that passion he had as a child and went on to attend the Culinary Institute of America in beautiful Napa Valley, California. While at the CIA, Chef Anil worked as a food runner at La Toque in Napa Valley.  Then, after receiving another degree, this time in the Culinary Arts, Anil kicked off his career with a chef apprenticeship under his mentor Chef Almir da Fonseca at the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant. Going on 14 years in the industry and having worked in California and Hawaii, Anil decided to return to Houston, not only home, but also a great food city.  

A fan of Italian cuisine, one of Anil’s favorite recipes is risotto. A fan favorite among most Houstonians, Mexican food is also close to his heart. Outside of the kitchen, with a thirst for adventure, Chef Anil says, “I often sought an adrenaline rush through cliff diving, sky diving, bungee jumping, and free falling.” His love for extreme sports is equally mirrored by his fearless attitude as a chef and willingness to experiment in the kitchen. If you need inspiration for a new dish to add to your menu or just a friendly face to turn to with any culinary need, Chef Anil is always there with a helping hand. 

Chef Anil’s favorite quote:  

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” 
– Julia Child